Friday June 17, 2011

International Recognition

The American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) has honored a researcher with its highest award in gas turbine technology.

ASME honored Dilip Ballal with the 2011 ASME R. Tom Sawyer Award, which goes to "an individual who has made a lifetime of scholarly contributions to advancing gas turbine technology, the gas turbine industry and the ASME's International Gas Turbine Institute."

Ballal is Hans von Ohain Distinguished Professor in mechanical and aerospace engineering, director of the University's von Ohain Fuels and Combustion Center, and division head of the University of Dayton Research Institute's energy and environmental engineering division.

"Growing up in India, two of my idols were the co-inventors of the jet engine, Frank Whittle and Hans von Ohain," Ballal said. "I have been fortunate to have been able to work alongside Hans von Ohain and become director of a center bearing his name. I am now humbled to be honored with this award that both Frank Whittle and Hans von Ohain have won."

In addition to Whittle and von Ohain, past winners of the R. Tom Sawyer Award include executives at industry giants GE Aviation, Pratt & Whitney and Rolls Royce; and scholars at Cambridge University and MIT.

"This is a tremendous and well-deserved honor for Dilip that brings great recognition to the fuels, combustion and energy research work we are doing at the University of Dayton," said Tony Saliba, dean of the School of Engineering.

Due in part to Ballal's work, the state of Ohio designated the von Ohain Center as an Ohio Center of Excellence in Advanced Energy. Ballal and his co-workers also helped the University gain a six-year, $49.5 million grant from the U.S. Air Force to help develop clean alternative fuels from various feed stocks such as coal, biomass and algae; enhance engine fuel efficiency; reduce combustion-generated emissions; and investigate the environmental impact of fossil fuels use.

"Dilip and his group have secured millions of dollars in sponsored research, increasing the research profile of the University," said Mickey McCabe, University of Dayton vice president for research. "This award is a tribute to Dilip, his team and his work toward creating cleaner, more efficient fuels that will benefit mankind and the environment."

Ballal, an ASME senior vice president who also is editor-in-chief of ASME’s Journal of Engineering for Gas Turbines and Power, received the award June 6 during the 2011 ASME International Turbo Expo in Vancouver, British Columbia.

Earlier this year, Ballal served as the first Pratt & Whitney Distinguished Chair (Visiting) Professor in Gas Turbine Engineering at The Indian Institute of Science in Bangalore. As visiting professor, he led research in gas turbine engineering and assisted Pratt & Whitney and the Institute with research and development.

For more information, contact Shawn Robinson, associate director of news and communications, at 937-229-3391 or

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